Kittysnip, a registered non-profit animal welfare group, sheds light on the TNR process
20 February 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Trap, neuter and release (TNR) is the most effective method for managing feral and stray cats...
Not only is it the most effective, but it has also been proven to be the most human method in controlling the stray cat population growth in Dubai and the UAE. Sadly, the purpose and methods of TNR in Dubai is little understood or practiced by communities across the city.
Registered non-profit animal welfare group, Kittysnip, works a TNR programme across Dubai, and even help to arrange adoption for abandoned and neglected cats.
Here's everything you need to know about TNR in Dubai.
How does TNR work?
Just like it says on the tin - trap, neuter and release. Animal welfare organisations and rescuers, as well as dedicated members of the community, work to trap feral and stray cats safely and humanely. They then, if able to, pay for the animal to be spayed/neutered by a licenced veterinarian.
Once the animal is fully healed, they're then returned to their territory - ideally where caretakers can provide them with regular food and water. After a few days of being released, cats will return to their usual routines.
How do you know if a cat has had TNR?
Ear-tipping is a widely accepted means of marking a feral cat who has been sterilised. It also identifies them as being part of a cared colony, which helps to prevent then being subjected to unnecessary surgery, confinement or euthanasia.
To do this, ear-tipping is the surgical removal of 1/4 tip of the left ear. This procedure is performed by a licenced vet, and typically during the animal's spay/neuter surgery.
The advantages of TNR
The biggest and most important advantage of TNR is that it helps to stabilise the size of a cat colony in a community by eliminating the potential for new litters and prevents unwanted breeding.
There are also several other advantages of the TNR process:
- Neutering a male cat can help reduce aggression and fighting amongst cats, plus prevents males spraying their territory
- 'Nuisance' behaviour is reduced, like yowling and other mating activities
- It helps to prevent the spreading of diseases
- Feral cats can live on average of 6 years - and releasing them helps to continue to provide natural rodent control
- TNR lessens the number of kittens and cats needed to be re-homed
- Prevents attacks and injuries for domesticated cats in a neighbourhood
Who can help you TNR
Kittysnip is a registered organisation in 2016 - under the provision of EAWS - and works to neuter over 50+ cats per month across the city. They also take ill and injured cats for medical treatment. From January 2018 to October 2018, Kittysnip neutered over 425 cats alone, and every weekend they hold adoption days for residents to attend who are wishing to adopt a cat in Dubai.
The group is a member of Emirates Animal Welfare Society (EAWS), which is the only licensed and registered animal welfare society in the UAE. The group fall directly under Major General Dr Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Security, Justice & Safety Committee and the Executive Council, Abu Dhabi.
If you have found an abandoned or lost cat in need of help, or you're seeking some guidance on the TNR process - just get in touch with the Kittysnip team by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]
How to trap, neuter and release (TNR) in Dubai
If you come across a feral or stray cat in need of TNR, you should first contact organisations like Kittysnip in Dubai and UAE to help you.
However, if for whatever reason you're unable to, here's some advice to guide you with trapping, neutering and releasing a cat or a cat colony in Dubai.
Try to accomplish mass trapping
There's several benefits to mass trapping - it helps to quickly get a colony under control, it takes less time and effort overall and plus, it's easier to catch all the cats! Starting one at a time is easy in the beginning, but then when you get to the very last ones you have to pick them out from the crowd.
Basics of trapping - mass or individual
Leave enough time to plan - whether for a few days or ten or more. Take into consideration weather, foot traffic, construction noise or other similar disruptions.
Then, prepare your trips. Line them up in a comfortable distance from the colony's feeding area - if possible, do this out of sight of the cats. Place several, if not more than you need, traps in and around the territory.
Once set-up, act normal. Remain in the area and don't leave the traps unattended. Just remember - if they're hungry, they'll be interested.
When you've caught one, quickly cover the trap with a sheet, which should help calm the cat down. If that doesn't help, you can instead insert a trap divider from above to limit the amount of space they have to move about in. Never release a cat for fear they'll injure themself.
Once caught, remove the cat inside the trap to a safe location.
The best kinds of traps
A trap will be the cat's cage and safe space before and after surgery and during recovery. Have a pair of trap dividers to hand, and use traps that are 30 to 36 inches in length, and at least 10 inches wide. Keep the traps covered with sheets and feed and clean twice a day and the cats will be fine.
Returning the cats
After their neuter or spay surgery, they should be held for at least 24 hours and no more than 72 hours, granted there's no complications.
Always return the cats back to their colony site and never release them at a new, unknown location. Some of the cats may disappear for a few days after release, but will return.